Mineral property - Rights, Royalties and Rents
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In a modern economy there is a compelling case why governments should not own property rights to mineral deposits. Assuming they do, however, governments will use these constitution rights to raise revenue. They have two basic instruments to achieve this; a royalty charge on price or a rent tax on income/profits. On the one hand, a royalty charge creates a ‘deadweight loss’ to society by increasing cut-off grades and decreasing the life-of-mine. They are also regressive. However, they are easy to administer. On the other hand, a rent tax avoids the problem of ‘deadweight loss’; it does not impact on the life-of-mine because the tax structure is neutral. But, they aredifficult to administer correctly, particularly in the determination of rents and the defi nition of mining per se. If rents are incorrectly determined capital markets are distorted. And, if mining activities are incorrectly defined, downstream activities could be adversely affected.
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